Inside the war room at the American Red Cross in Cleveland after local storms damage local homes

CLEVELAND - When disaster strikes, the American Red Cross is ready to help local victims. 

NewsChannel5 got a rare, inside look at how the relief efforts come together for that organization.

"I will talk it out and we will call you right back," said Cory Paul who is a Disaster Program Specialist with the American Red Cross.  We saw him on the phone in the Red Cross's war room in downtown Cleveland.  Paul spent the day helping to pull lots of resources together for storm victims.  

There were Red Cross staffers and volunteers in charge of Mass Care, where they get victims shelter and provide them food.  "That's one of  our first action items from the Red Cross. When we know people are out of their homes, you need to set up shelter as soon as possible," said Paul.

He knows about war.  Paul just returned from Afghanistan while serving in the Army National Guard.  He knows in critical situations, getting staff on the same page is crucial.  "[We make] those personal calls, 'Hey, do you have a couple of hours you can spare to help us out?'" he explained.

There was also the Disaster Assessment Desk in the war room that figures out what's happening out in the field.
It's all a job that Paul know is important to victims. "People affected by disaster, looking for help, looking for a bottle of water…it's the best thing to do," Paul told us.

If you are interested in volunteering, Paul said the Red Cross is always looking for help from people with all kinds of skills.  Call the office at 216.431.3010 and sign up today.

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